‘Complete hell’: Texas man says monkeypox is ‘100 times worse’ than Covid

A man in Texas has warned monkeypox was ‘complete hell’ and ‘100 times worse than Covid’ after catching it — as cases in the United States topped 2,000.

Luke Shannahan, who works as a bartender in Dallas, revealed in an interview that the disease left him suffering a 101F fever, headache and swollen lymph nodes making him look ‘like a frog’ just two days after he was told he had been exposed.

Blisters then erupted all over his body that were so painful it felt like ‘someone was taking a potato peeler to your skin’ whenever they brushed against something.

Shannahan was administered a monkeypox vaccine after he was diagnosed, but still became bedridden for two days and felt so ill he feared for his life.

The patient is not sure how he became infected, but had attended bars, pool parties and a music festival in the days beforehand.

Luke Shannahan, who lives in Dallas, said monkeypox left him with blisters that were so painful it felt like someone was taking a potato peeler to his skin whenever he brushed against something

Pictured above is one of the blisters Shannahan suffered after catching monkeypox. They were extremely painful, and the disease was '100 times worse' than Covid, he said

Pictured above is one of the blisters Shannahan suffered after catching monkeypox. They were extremely painful, and the disease was ‘100 times worse’ than Covid, he said

He was administered a vaccine by the department of health

But still ended up bedridden for two days with the disease

He was administered a vaccine by the local department of health, but still ended up bedridden for two days with the disease. At one point he feared he would die

Revealing his illness, Shannahan told KHOU 11: ‘It’s just the most traumatic experience I’ve ever had. It’s the worst sick I’ve ever been.

‘You have these blisters that are inflamed and anytime it grazes something or touches something, it literally feels like someone is taking a potato peeler to your skin.’

In a separate interview with NBC 5, he revealed a contact tracer first alerted him that he had been exposed to the rash-causing virus.

Timeline of monkeypox 

1958: Monkeypox is discovered when an outbreak of pox-like disease occurred in monkeys kept for research.

1970: First human case of the disease is recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was later detected in a number of other central and western African countries.

2003: America’s former largest monkeypox outbreak occurs. A total of 47 people are infected after having contact with pet prairie dogs that picked up the disease at a farm.

July, 2021: Monkeypox case detected in the U.S. in a citizen who had recently returned from Nigeria. 

November, 2021: Monkeypox is detected in another U.S. resident who recently returned from Nigeria.

May, 2022: A man in Massachusetts is diagnosed with monkeypox, becoming the first case in the current outbreak. There are now more than 2,000 cases nationwide. 

Two days later he had a temperature, constant headache and swollen lymph nodes. Which were then followed by painful blisters.

‘The pain and tenderness was constant,’ he said.

Asked whether it was like Covid, he said: ‘Oh, 100 times worse. this was a totally different level of extreme fatigue.’

Shannahan was diagnosed two weeks and a day ago, and says most of his symptoms have now subsided.

But he will still remain in isolation for at least three weeks.

Patients must remain in quarantine until all their blisters have scabbed over and the scabs have dropped off because even these could spread the virus, according to official guidelines.

Shannahan has set up a gofundme page to replace lost wages as a bartender, which has so far made him $1,700.

Texas has recorded 81 cases of monkeypox to date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says.

These are mostly among gay or bisexual men, although this week the Lone Star state also announced its first case among women.

Nationwide, infections have quadrupled over the last two weeks amid a surge in testing for the virus.

It has prompted warnings from some top experts that America has likely ‘lost control’ of the disease.

But CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky hit back against the claims yesterday, insisting they were ‘misinformed and off base’.

Other experts say it will take another few days to become clear whether the rash-causing virus is now out of control in the United States.

Monkeypox patients are offered the Jynneous vaccine in the early stages of their illness, which doctors say can help reduce symptoms.

It is set to help kick-start the immune system to fight the virus off.

Many are also being offered TPOXX, an antiviral which works by stopping the monkeypox virus from invading other cells.

It was designed for use against smallpox, but is also being used to fight monkeypox infections because the two viruses are closely related.

There are mounting concerns over a shortage of monkeypox vaccines in the U.S. at present. 

New York City and Washington D.C. are the first to start offering the jab to all gay or bisexual men who have multiple sexual partners every two weeks.

But in both appointments are running out in minutes when they are released, with New York now warning it may not be able to dish out second doses.

Residents have branded it ‘ridiculous’ that there are so few vaccines available in a city of more than eight million.

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